Celebrating Chanel’s New Book With Karl & All Our Other Crushes
Wednesday night was a night of crushes.
You see, this was the night Chanel feted Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld‘s upcoming Little Black Jacket book with a swanky exhibit opening in New York City. I spent the first part of the evening fawning over halftone images featuring the likes of 113 friends of the house, including Anna Wintour, Kanye West, and Elle Fanning. I sipped champagne and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres with caviar (favorite) and beets (not so favorite — I’m with the Obamas on this one). And then I came face-to-face with Pharrell Williams: thus began the night of crushes.
Pharrell is a longtime crush of mine, which makes sense given he’s a musician who skateboards and is also really into science. (High school fantasy come true, basically.) I tried to play it very cool as I lurked, waiting to interview him, but he caught on to the lurkage and called me and my partner-in-crime out. “Hey, ladies,” he said with a grin.
He told me he only had time for one question, as he was already late to another event, so I asked him what his little black jacket — that item that he wears everywhere — was. He thought about this for what seemed like an eternity. “Beautiful girls. I love wearing beautiful girls,” he finally answers. Blushing, I asked who his favorite beautiful girl was. “She can just lay naked in your arms and hug your neck, and you can just wear her. Right? I just tried to give you the most colorful answer right there.” You succeeded, I tell him, still blushing. “Can you imagine it?” he asked as he was whisked away by his flack. Blush on blush on blush.
I was pretty sure this encounter couldn’t be topped, but I should have known better. Not only are Chanel events impeccably produced, the guest lists are typically insane. Crush on crush on crush.
My next chat was with an editor crush, Paper‘s eminently quotable Mickey Boardman. The nicest man in fashion told me his must-have item is “anything with sequins”. Why? “Because it turns a housewife look into something special.” And since this was Karl’s party, I had to know if the editor had ever met the designer. “I have, and I’m obsessed and amazed. But I’m only using Karl to get to his bodyguard Sebastien, who I think is so hot and sexy. I’m obsessed with him and think he’s completely amazing. And Karl is amazing, and just Chanel in general is amazing. Hello, we’re at a Chanel party! Doesn’t it feel so glamourous?” Indeed.
I did another lap and saw all sorts of fabulous people — models, designers, actors, and more — checking out the exhibit. Zoe Kravitz made the rounds with Lisa Bonet, while Olivier Theyskens chatted with friends. Lily Collins had a gaggle of people around her, as did Joan Smalls. I peeped Karolina Kurkova and Linda Evangelista, but missed Alber Elbaz, much to my chagrin. Jessica Paré was there, too.
Then I spotted teenage model crush Lindsey Wixson. She looked flawless. When a friend came over to greet her, he hesitated to kiss her on the cheek, for fear of messing up her makeup. “I’m not wearing makeup!” she replied. But of course. When I asked if I could interview her, she bashfully told me I was the third person to request such a thing. But of course!
“It’s great working with Karl,” she told me. “You know what he wants when he’s in front of his lens. He knows exactly what he wants from you and he’s very direct.”
Before exiting the main exhibition area, I eyed the most popular guest of all: Hudson Kroenig, the adorable toddler son of Karl fave Brad Kroenig. Hudson was photographed for the book and showed up to the opening in a custom LBJ. It was almost too cute to handle.
After gawking at the 3-year-old, I entered the makeshift lobby space, hoping to compose myself after all that stimulation. And then Carine waltzed in. And then Karl. I couldn’t get particularly close to the designer, thanks to his massive entourage, but alas, it was magical, as all Karl sightings are. Theophilus London was standing behind me, taking it all in. He would later give a performance at the private dinner that was thrown in the LBJ’s honor.
I saw Penn Badgley as I walked towards the exit. Dan Humphrey = TV crush! When I tried to talk to him, with his arms around Kravitz, he told me he had done all his interviews for the night. Whatever, Dan is just the poor man’s Seth Cohen.
Okay, my work here is done, I thought. I was, of course, wrong. Standing near the door, looking gorgeous and smoking a cigarette in the most glamourous of ways was grownup model crush Crystal Renn. She complimented my (head-to-toe H&M) outfit, and I melted. She was in Helmut Lang, which she told me she adores along with Rick Owens — and Chanel. And like everyone else at the party, she had some stories about Karl.
“I walked into his incredible studio, and there were 250,000 books, he says. Can you imagine?” she gushed, eyes glowing. “And can you imagine where the other books are in the other areas of his house or whatever? A collection like that, yes, I would like to have that for my own.”
Us, too! And just when I thought I was actually done for the evening, I ended up right in front of Alexander Wang: designer crush. He seemed flattered when I told him my LBJ was a coveted pair of balloon shorts he designed years ago.
Wang appears in the book and exhibit, and said working with Karl was a delight: ”He was so easy and so professional. He got me in and out in 10 minutes! It was like two days before my show, and I was in and out of fittings.” And who does he want to collaborate with? “James Jebbia of Supreme. I think he’s done amazing things at Supreme, and really created something anyone can respect.” And then we bonded about the cute skaters outside the Supreme store in Soho. Told you it was a night of crushes.
The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited exhibit is open to the public today through June 15 at 18 Wooster St. in New York.
Bonus! Here’s a little video from the night: